What Does Giving Tuesday Mean to You?
Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States. It is a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. This year, Thanksgiving was on Nov. 28. The day after Thanksgiving, we experience Black Friday, which is noted for being the first day of the traditional Christmas shopping season. Then we have Small Business Saturday, which encourages folks to support small businesses as they shop for the holidays.
We take a breath for a day and then have Cyber Monday today. On this grand occasion, the Internet is the place to go for more sales. Now, following Cyber Monday we have #GivingTuesday. If you have any money left, you're encouraged to give on this date.
That's a lot of financial transactions in a short time frame!
I'm certainly in favor of promoting #GivingTuesday, which is a national movement during the holidays dedicated to people thinking about giving more and giving smarter. It's a celebration of the spirit of generosity through charitable contributions and volunteerism. This reminds me of my first Salvation Army Christmas season last year as executive director of development.
Each year, The Salvation Army's intense Christmas season fundraising during November and December builds to a frenzy that has its climax on Christmas Eve. We almost reached our Christmas goal last year, and I could see the disappointment in my staff. I told the team that while we have a Christmas goal, it is only a percentage of our fiscal-year financial goal. We worked hard for nine more months to achieve our total annual goal, as our fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.
So, having watched this last year, I kept thinking that while giving and the spirit of philanthropy are especially emphasized for the holiday period for many organizations, all of us should promote philanthropy throughout the year. It is an important marathon and not a sprint. We should also promote the joy of volunteerism in the same breath as fundraising. Both are important to your bottom line.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at email@example.com or 317-224-1029.